Wordsworth's Classical Undersong
Education, Rhetoric and Poetic Truth

By Richard Clancey
January 2000
Macmillan UK
ISBN: 0333760344
240 pages
$87.50 hardcover

Wordsworth's classical education presents an amazing paradox. Gifted teachers trained him in the full rigours of classical Latin and Greek. But Wordsworth's schoolmasters were enlightened, liberal and advanced. They were committed to the Classics and to modern literature. In their enthusiasm they shared their volumes of contemporary poetry with Wordsworth. His was a holistic literary education. Wordsworth developed a profound love for the Classics and thus an enlightened zeal for a new poetry, a poetry capable of being compared with and even daring to compete with the Classical texts he so dearly loved. Richard Clancey's meticulously researched study presents new biographical information on Wordsworth's classical education and new facts about the education of his teachers.

Wordsworth's Academic Training
Wordsworth and Horace: Ethos and Poetic Truth
Classical Undersong: 'lively images,' 'strong feelings,' 'purest Poesy'
Appendix: Aristotle's Ethical Proof: A Sampling of its Use in Recent Criticism
Works Cited

Author Biography:
RICHARD CLANCEY was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and has lived there most of his life. He earned his AB in Classics at John Carroll University, Cleveland, and his MA in English at Notre Dame University and his PhD also in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He taught at Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in Washington, D.C., and then came to teach English literature at John Carroll. His published articles focus on Wordsworth, especially his use of Horace and Demosthenes. He has been a frequent participant in the Wordsworth Winter School, Grasmere, England. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the Cleveland Orchestra and a passionate swimmer.

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